The Clinicians' Role in Achieving the Triple Aim

August 30, 2016
Dr. Hudson Garrett



Many healthcare professionals have heard the term “Triple Aim” tossed around, but are sometimes unsure of the true meaning of the concept and specifically how it applies directly to their respective role. The Triple Aim was developed by leading experts at the Institute for Healthcare Improvement (IHI). It is essentially a simple framework that details three core elements of improving healthcare system performance and quality. The three “aims” include:

  • Improving the patient experience of care (this includes both quality and satisfaction)
  • Improving the health of the population served
  • Reducing the per capita cost of healthcare

Patient satisfaction is a critical element of improving healthcare quality and outcomes and is measured by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) Hospital Consumer Assessment of Healthcare Providers and Systems (HCAHPS) survey. The HCAHPS is the first and only nationally, standardized reporting system specific to the patient’s perspective of their healthcare delivery. Patient satisfaction can be directly influenced by multiple factors including patient wait times, comfort level during procedures (i.e. sedation), post-procedure pain, and communication to the patient from the healthcare provider team. Simple efforts to improve patient satisfaction, such as more efficient discharge planning and interactive patient education, can have significant positive impacts on HCAHPS scores, which directly impacts facility reimbursement.

In addition to the Institute for Healthcare Improvement’s Triple Aim framework, the Institute for Medicine (IOM) for also developed dimensions for safer patient care:

  • Safe
  • Effective
  • Patient-Centered
  • Timely
  • Efficient
  • Equitable

These six dimensions are fundamental to building both high reliability and safe healthcare delivery networks, both inpatient and outpatient. Every healthcare provider as well as the patient has an equal stake and role in patient safety and achieving the three elements of the Triple Aim.

To learn more about the IHI Triple Aim, visit  

For more information on Triple Aim, click on the video below to see what PENTAX Medical is doing.

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